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30 staff lose jobs as airport taxi run firm falls into administration

PUBLISHED: 17:36 22 October 2018

Andy Fisk and Ian Tooke are the joint managing directors at JR Executive Travel.  They are pictured here in 2015.

Andy Fisk and Ian Tooke are the joint managing directors at JR Executive Travel. They are pictured here in 2015.

All 30 staff at an Ipswich firm offering airport taxi runs have lost their jobs after it collapsed into administration, it has emerged.

The demise of taxi, bus and minicab hire services business JR Travel Ltd, based at London Road, was caused by “significant” cash-flow difficulties, and also resulted in 17 sub-contractors losing their jobs there, administrators said.

BDO business restructuring partners Eddie Kerr and Danny Dartnaill were appointed joint administrators over JR Travel Ltd, also known as JR Executive Travel, on October 5.

All staff “regrettably” lost their jobs, they said.

“Unfortunately, a downturn in business, coupled with mounting creditor pressure, gave rise to significant cash flow difficulties, from which the business was unable to recover,” explained Mr Kerr.

“The joint administrators are taking all necessary steps to mitigate losses to customers and, going forward, will seek to maximise recoveries for the benefit of all creditors.”

The firm, which was based at Little Copdock House, had been purchased in a management buyout for £1.8m in 2015 by Ian Tooke and Andy Fisk, with help from a £950,000 loan from small and medium-sized enterprise lender ThinCats.

At the time, the company employed around 35 taxi drivers and 17 coach drivers.

Mr Tooke is a fully qualified mechanic who previously looked after IT for JR Travel, and Mr Fisk is a former driver who worked himself up to become operations manager.

One of the affected drivers, who did not wish to be named, said it was “a shame”.

Derek Davis, a Babergh district councillor for Berners Ward, said he had been left waiting for a minibus booked with JR Travel a fortnight before that never turned up. “It was very disappointing,” he said. “They should have notified us - we felt let down. “I was surprised, because JR Travel over the years has been a very reliable company, with an excellent reputation.”

The JR Travel website still has the URL, but the page features the branding of a separate firm, Manorside Travel. Although the firm was upholding some of the jobs, there was no contractual obligation to do so and there was no official arrangement, a BDO spokesperson explained.

An employee explained that JR Travel and Manorside Travel are two separate companies, and that Manorside Travel has been helping out with some of JR Travel’s previous booking. “We have been getting people from A to B for them, so they are not let down,” the company representative explained.

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